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Summary and Analysis of Ah, Sunflower by William Blake - Beaming Notes

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  Follow Us   Home » Uncategorized » Summary and Analysis of Ah, Sunflower by William Blake Summary and Analysis of Ah, Sunflower by William Blake  Abhishek    May 21, 2013  Uncategorized   Ah, Sunflower! Weary of time belongs to a special class of poems capable of projecting vivid symbolismand instill a thought process with little textual phrases. It is another masterpiece from Blake with deepsymbolic interpretation. As such we’ve presented a very detailed analysis of the poem and inputs from your end are appreciated! Setting of the Poem: The sunflower represents a man who is bound to earth, but is pinning for eternity. The face of the sunflowerfollows the course of the Sun in the hope of reaching a land which is indifferent to frustration andrestriction.Ah, Sunflower! Weary of time,Who countest the steps of the Sun; Facebook  Twitter   HomeAbout UsContactSitemap Search HOME  POEM ANALYSISICSEISCCBSESOLVED ANSWERS  KERALATAMIL NADU  OUR SITES  Seeking after the sweet golden clime,Where the traveller’s journey is done; Annotations and Explanation: Ah indicates the regret of the speaker ; Sunflower symbolizes man who feels frustrated by the worldlyrestrains; weary of time: the sunflower is fed up with its life on earth; Who countess…Sun: The sunflowercounts the step of the Sun because it turns in the direction of the sun; seeking: searching or in quest for;clime: world; seeking…clime: The sunflower searches the golden world which is the land of freedom; wherethe… done: The sunflower seeks a world where the seeker stops and at peace having reached his goal.Where the Youth pined away with desireAnd the pale Virgin shrouded in snowArise from their graves, and aspireWhere my Sunflower wishes to go. Annotations and Explanation: Pine away with desire: pine means desire, but the phrase means to suffer slowly or silent withering (as ofsunflower); shrouded in snow: buried in snow; aspire: yearn; where my sunflower wishes to do: thesunflower wishes to go to the golden world where everybody is free. Theme of Ah, Sunflower The very beginning is extraordinary and expressive. The very first line enthralls the readers to theuniqueness of the poem. The poem with its suggestive symbolism leaves a sustained impact on the mind ofthe readers.The sunflower is tired of its existence, perhaps because of this restrictive world. The sunflower symbolizesa man who is also a traveler. Thus, the sunflower seeks the world of liberty, the golden world where everyyouth and virgin wish to go. Even the death cannot stop them, they would continue to seek for the Goldenworld as haunted spirits! All three- The sunflower, the young man and the virgin are seekers of the goldenland. The Image of Sunflower: Blake might have accepted the image of Sunflower from Thomas Taylor’s translations. He could have alsochosen the image from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The Mythology: In mythology, the nymph Clytie’s love for Hyperion, the sun god goes unrequited and she died. Shetransformed into a flower which tracks the sun during the day as a sunflower does. Both Sun and Sunflowerare considered to affirm life.     In mythology, the nymph Clytie dies from unrequited love for Hyperion, the sun god. She transforms into aflower which tracks the sun during the day, as the sunflower does. Since the sun is traditionally seen as thesource of life, the sunflower can also be used as an image which affirms life. In Christianity, the sun’s risingis the East is seen as a sign of resurrection and thus, eternal life. Critical Analysis of Ah, Sunflower The central idea of the poem is not transparent in Blake’s Ah, Sunflower. That’s why I’ve introduced thetheme, the reference of the srcinal inspiration for the poem and now, we’ll be able to closely apprehend theactual interpretation of the poem. The central idea of this song is to understand the feelings of all youngmen and women who are robbed of their appetite for love. Because of this,The Youth pines away with desireThe pale Virgin shrouded in snowIt is the earthly pathos that are made to coincide with the image of the sunflower. The sunflower whosehead points at the sun, yet it is firmly rooted in the earth is Blake’s symbol for all those lives which aredominated by longing. Blake didn’t really exaggerated his idea and assumed his poem will do the work byitself. Ah, Sunflower belongs to a class of very rare poems in which inspiration creates the veryenchantment. The Theme of Eternity and Symbolic Interpretation: The poem has a critical symbolic meaning and supports varied criticisms. The sunflower lives on earthwhere it is dominated by time. The sunflower lives as a slave of time and wish to attain immortality. That’swhy it looks at the sun who lives in eternity. The irony lies in the fact, the sun itself withers the flower anddooms it to death. The “sweet golden chime” refers to the legendary Golden Age that comes when thecourse of sun, moon, earth and all the universe is complete.The phrase, ‘pine away’ bears special significance as it may also refer to ‘Narcissus of Ovid’sMetamorphoses. Narcissus on seeing his reflection on water, falls in love and later transforms himself intoa flower of melancholy after his own name.  Thus the youth who pines away with desire is not only Narcissus, acquiring some celestial heights, but alsorefers to the Narcissus flower blooming from mother earth’s grave.“Pale Virgin shrouded in snow” may remind us of Proserpine who was abducted by King of Hades. Later, hermother Cares, in search of Proserpine comes to Hades and puts her claim. Elements of Optimism and Pessimism Intermixed: The poem, Ah Sunflower portrays the optimistic outlook- The sunflower’s aspiration for immortality and aworld of perfection. The idea of pessimism emanates on thinking the wintering away of the sunflower andits incapability of achieving eternal life. Dear Readers-  If this summary/analysis has helped you, kindly take a little effort to  like or +1 this post  orboth. Make sure you like Beamingnotes Facebook page  and subscribe to our newsletter  so that we cankeep in touch. We’ll keep informing you about stuffs that are really interesting, worth knowing and addsimportance to you. Share this: RELATED ARTICLES          Facebook  Twitter  Abhishek  Abhishek is a marketing research and social media consultant who developed a keen interest inblogging. He can be contacted at dey.abhishek99@gmail.com
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